Habs deliver monster numbers for CBC, RDS

Millions tune in for Game 7 as Montreal inches closer to the coveted Stanley Cup.

The Montreal Canadiens’ unexpected win over Sidney Crosby and the Stanley Cup defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins hauled in massive audiences for CBC and French broadcaster RDS.

CBC scored an average 4.2 million viewers Wednesday night as Montreal routed Pittsburg 5-2 in Game 7 of their series, to move on to the Eastern Conference final which gets underway on Sunday. (All numbers 2+ and based on PPM data.)

The game is the sixth largest Stanley Cup playoff audience in history on CBC, and caps off a strong round two for the broadcaster with an average 2.6 million viewers. Thanks to PPM, that marks a 94% increase over round two audiences in 2009.

RDS, meanwhile, reached a new record as Game 7 averaged 2.4 million viewers, the highest audience ever for the sports specialty. Audience levels peaked at 3.5 million late in the third period. The number represents 58.5% of the Quebec-Franco market.

CBC also saw hot numbers online, as the game attracted 130,000 live streaming views on Cbcsports.ca. The pubcaster says it has had over 1.5 million live streams for the 2010 playoffs to date, an increase of 187% versus last year.

The Montreal/Pittsburgh series ended with an average audience of 2.7 million viewers over seven games, while Vancouver/Chicago nabbed 2.5 million over six games on CBC. While the Canucks have been eliminated from the playoffs, the Canadiens will face the winner of the Boston/Philadelphia series.

From Playback Daily